Ubuntu is the most popular Linux flavour around, Latex is the gold standard for scientific writing and printing a standalone figure, table, whatever should be a nobrainer. And yet, installing the standalone package in Ubuntu is a Kafkian endeavour.

I've browsed through a dozen webpages suggesting different routes, ranging from the horribly complicated that might work but require a PhD to understand (How to install "vanilla" TeXLive on Debian or Ubuntu?) to others which are understandable but that simply don't work (How to install the documentclass standalone in Ubuntu?).

Now, Latex tells me '! LaTeX Error: File `standalone.cls' not found.' so I want to have .cls file. This is where I want to go.

I couldn't find one anywhere, only the CTAN package which has an .ins and .dtx pair.

Extracting to a texmf local folder pdflatex'ing either of them didn't help because I am prompted for a multitude of .sty's, so this is probably wrong.

Can you provide a sequence of steps that will take me from point A (.ins/.dtx) to point B (.cls) and that can actually be followed by a human?

Many thanks

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    Welcome! The question about installing vanilla explains how to install all of TeX Live - it isn't about adding or updating a particular package. I assume you are using Ubuntu's TeX Live. I'd have thought they packaged standalone, but you'd need to figure out which texlive- package includes it. That is the best option, and you just use your package manager to install it. That way, it will match the rest of your TeX Live installation, be updated automatically when you update your OS etc.
    – cfr
    Oct 3, 2015 at 13:11
  • Even if you are not using the version of TeX Live that comes from the Debian/Ubuntu repositories, you can find where something called "standalone" in relation to "texlive" by typing: apt-cache search standalone | grep texlive. Even though I do not have that package installed, the terminal returns: texlive-latex-extra - TeX Live: LaTeX additional packages. At this point, you could follow the answer of @LucaD.
    – jon
    Oct 3, 2015 at 16:12
  • Many thanks to the contributors. LucaD's answer did the trick and jon's idea of greping within packages for keywords will probably save me when I encounter following circumstances in the future.
    – Joao
    Oct 4, 2015 at 8:38

2 Answers 2


The standalone latex package is included in the Ubuntu package texlive-latex-extra. You can install it through the terminal with the command:

sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-extra

or with any other graphical package manager you use in Ubuntu.


I just installed TexLive from MacPorts, and only once I found this post, did I realize that I needed to install the extra package 'texlive-latex-extra' to get the standalone class to work.

In MacPorts, the relevant command is :

sudo port install texlive-latex-extra

Too bad it took so long to find this post!!

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